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Some Poetry by Brycchan Carey

This is all pretty ancient stuff. My newer (and I hope better) poems, and those that I am currently working on, do not appear here because I keep on promising myself that I will send them off to proper poetry magazines. Several of the poems on this page have already been published in poetry magazines, in the main in Imaging Water, Wordsmiths, and Poetry Nottingham. I give full details at the bottom of the page.

The Difference Between Dawn and Day

Slowly we sat in the sun
And giggled at the incorrigible gulls
Playing three dimensional roulette
With fishes' heads.
And although the sun beat up and down our backs
And in and out of our eyes so that
The sun and the sea and the sand became glued;
We were not hurt.
We were not at all hurt when an old man said to us
'Tomorrow, you will be gulls.'
But now in the quickness of dawn
The world has become three
And it is the gulls who giggle.

A Short and Largely Unhelpful Guide to Writing Poetry

1) Materials.
First find the necessary equipment: a pen and a piece of paper should suffice, but on their own are of little use so;

2) The Hero, and His Predicament.
Enter the poet; that champion of the mind whom with strength and passion must grapple the idea, (for an idea, like submerged soap, will flit through the fingers to useless dissolution.) Once firmly ensnared the idea must be broken up and laid delicately down in a wreath of words.

3) Words.
If you find words are lacking it may be advisable for you to take up some numerical profession, such as painting by numbers.

4) So on and So Forth.
Once you have finished it is essential to check the poems pulse. If it races consider reading it to a friend, if it merely flutters leave it, or feed it to the birds.

O Daphne, I'll Wring my Heart Out For Your Plum Pudding With Double Custard

To eat now or to go.
To go.
This was the lament of Homer and the Ancients when they found,
Indeed they found to their abject horror,
That Christmas was not yet,
Nor never ever in their lives

'Pass the plum pudding please!'
Said Sophocles

But it was not to be.

Now in this patriotic era I find
That plums are still hard to come by.

O Daphne I long for your cooking, I search for that peace of mind which is not yet nor never ever in my life to be.

So this must be a farewell.
Tomorrow at noon,
At High Noon,
I will elope and away with Mrs Beeton.

That should do the trick.



Later, much later, they sprung upon the stream which passed between them.

"I am an engineer; with girders and gangle pins
I can pass over this.
Simple; with chains and suspension I can shackle this problem.
I define my banks: A) is here, and B)
Is there,
There, application of a few basic laws will overthrow
This swift current:
Nothing there is that is not by numbers."

"And the boat I sail is briskly borne away,
And all that grows about me is turning green, from grey.
This stream has taken me, and taken me from he,
And now how quick, how quick I reach the sea."

We Shall Not Grow Older

For Jesse

I'm older now.
Five years older than the five you would have been now,
And in those years I too have not grown older.

Today at school you might have painted with your little fingers,
Ploughed the paint into furrows ripe for planting,
Or read a little, a few new words,
And tonight you might have told me
How you did it, and what you saw and why,
And tonight you might have spoken to me about your tomorrow.

But I do not know what or how I would have asked you,
And I cannot hear what you might have said and,
Although five years have passed between us,
I, like you, have not grown older.


When I reach for the moon in the sea
I find that beauty will ignore me.
Stay Beauty; winds or clouds shall not break you.

And when I look for the seas on the moon
I find that truth does not ignore me.
Stay Truth, dreams or visions will not break you.

But when I search for what's within me
I find my judgement will divide me.
Stay Judgement, Truth or Beauty cannot break you.

Linguistic Biology

My Dearest, your genes have become twisted,
Twisted! Worse than that,
Each thread is tangled into Latin.
Untranslatable you.

Yet I also have some peculiar disorders and blemishes:
The Ague, The Rheumaticks and Arteriosclerosis.
But my immobility is no handicap:
I have bottled your pheromones.

Thank you for reading my poems all the way down to the bottom of the page. I've more, and I may add or take away from this page. Publication details for some of these (and some more not included) are:

  • ‘Navigation’, Imaging Water, ed. Alec Linstead and Tom Millward (London: Pierian Press, 1992), p. 36.
  • ‘Clouds’, Poetry Nottingham, 40, no. 3 (1986), p. 17
  • ‘Soliloquy Slide’, Poetry Nottingham 40, no. 4 (1986), p. 17
  • ‘Judgement’, Poetry Nottingham, 41, no. 3 (1987), p. 22
  • ‘Science Fiction Poetry’, Poetry Nottingham, 43 (1989), no. 2
  • Guest Editor: Poetry Nottingham, 43, no. 3 (1989).

  • Click here to see a list of my academic publications

All Poems © Brycchan Carey, 1984-2003
This page last updated 7 March 2004

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